2014 Military Pharmacist of the Year Finalists


Military Pharmacist of the Year

LCDR Vince Deguzman approaches pharmaceutical care from a business model approach, which led him to increase efficiency and cost savings.

A board-certified pharmacotherapist and geriatric pharmacist, LCDR Deguzman also holds a Master of Business Administration, a post-master’s certificate in advanced graduate studies in health care administration, and began the dissertation phase of his PhD in business administration. His use of Lean Six Sigma methodologies in projects led to significant reductions in wait times, improvements to customer satisfaction, and significant cost savings.

Some of his achievements came under intense pressure and budgetary constraints.

“During the period of government sequestration, he immediately devised a plan of action that mitigated the impact of budget constraints on patient care,” his nomination read. “He implemented a pharmacy optimization project that conducted cost-analysis, converted drugs to cost-effective alternatives, and resulted in an annual cost-savings of $1.4 million.”

LCDR Deguzman co-led the hospital’s medication management committee during the sequestration stress. His leadership contributed to the hospital’s receipt of the Gold Seal of Approval from the Joint Commission.

His work as pharmacy and therapeutics committee co-chair had him leading 10 health care professionals to improve formulary management, enhance patient safety and experience, and ensure medications were used in a cost-effective manner.

While stationed at Naval Hospital Guam, LCDR Deguzman faced a particularly unique challenge: working in a 60-year-old facility that did not lend itself to modern pharmacy operations. His overhaul of inpatient pharmacy operations overcame those challenges, and brought the facility into USP <797> compliance.

LCDR Deguzman’s dedication to pharmacy extends past the walls of the naval hospital. He assisted in organizing outreach programs to provide medication and disease management counseling services to 300 senior citizens in 5 senior centers in Guam.

CAPT Kasudia has dedicated his career to improving patient safety, pharmacy operations, and pharmacist interventions.

“CAPT Kasudia’s many accomplishments advanced patient care and pharmacy practice,” his nomination read.

During his time serving as the inpatient pharmacy element chief for the hospital at the Wright- Patterson Air Force Base, he worked dilligently to fix 11 hospital processes, preventing 452 drug errors. His team’s patient safety improvements were so successful, the hospital commander personally presented patient safety awards to each staff member.

To further improve patient safety at the Wright- Patterson Air Force Base hospital, CAPT Kasudia launched the antimicrobial stewardship committee. In addition, he partnered with 3 Department of Veterans Affairs hospitals, creating a protocol that cut intensive care unit morbidity by 19.4% and avoided $40,000 in antibiotics annually. He helped to halve unnecessary treatment, saving an additional $1.3 million. In addition, he redesigned 4 inpatient processes and created the medication reconciliation program for new admissions and discharges. The success of the program helped the hospital receive a number 1 rating for inpatient patient satisfaction in the Department of Defense.

CAPT Kasudia has achieved similar success in improving processes and reducing errors throughout his career. He reduced total parenteral nutrition compounding time by 92%, and lowered yearly operating expenses by $28,000. He revamped the nonformulary approval process to recapture 410 patients and $25,000 in civilian pharmacy costs. He developed a chemotherapy plan to eliminate 70% of medication waste, potentially saving an estimated $94,000 annually in drug costs. He centralized drug ordering between 2 pharmacies, reducing medication outages by 60% and avoiding $175,000 in medication waste.

CAPT Kasudia’s commitment to improving pharmacy operations has not only benefitted the pharmacies he has served, but has had an impact on Air Force pharmacy as a whole. He created a custom pharmacy computerized physician order entry system, streamlining return-to-stock processing from 14 to 4 steps. The program is on track to be implemented throughout the Air Force.

COL Keith Wagner, PharmD, was given a goal while serving as chief of the department of pharmacy at Moncrief Army Community Hospital: optimize pharmacy operations, reduce costs, and ensure that all US Army pharmacies followed specific standards.

The responsibility was in addition to his regular duties, and COL Wagner brought both diligence and knowledge to his task. His foresight extended past regular pharmacy operations, as he examined each aspect of running a military hospital.

“His tenacity and vision ensured that any item that impacted pharmacy operations or patient care was carefully scrutinized and driven to excellence,” his nomination read. “His influence on excellence not only supported pharmacy personnel and patients, but vendors that support pharmacy automation. He held all vendors at high standards which drove high quality, better integration, and optimized throughput for the best possible cost to the government.”

These values led to COL Wagner’s appointment as the first Army pharmacy informatics consultant and clinical capability manager by the Surgeon General. He has also received the Meritorious Service Medal with 4 oak leaf clusters, the National Defense Services Medal, the global War on Terrorism Service Medal, and the Army Service Ribbon. COL Wagner has been honored with the Order of Military Medical Merit, a private organization recognizing excellence and promoting fellowship among Army Medical Department personnel.

COL Wagner’s career in the military began in 1984, when he enlisted in the North Dakota National Guard. He received his initial commission through the Reserve Officers Training Corps in 1989, received his Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy from North Dakota State University in 1992, and earned his Doctor of Pharmacy from the University of Florida in 1996. He also completed an oncology pharmacy practice residency at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

His previous positions include chief of outpatient and pharmacy at William Beaumont Army Medical Center, chief of pharmacy service at Fort McPherson, chief of hematology and oncology at Tripler Army Medical Center, assistant chief of the department of pharmacy at Eisenhower Army Medical Center, and chief of the department of pharmacy at Moncrief Army Community Hospital.

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